named after BRAHMA, denoting him to be the exclusive object of their adoration, yet by some legends he is described as the Almighty; and even his spouse, or &zcii, SARASWATI, as we shalt find when we come to notice her, is described as all-productive, all-powerful, and all-wise.
Thus, if a Vauhnava speak or write of VISHNU, he is actually described as the Deity: if one of the adored inearnations, or a’vataras of VISHNU, (CRISHNA, or RAMA, for instance,) lie is likewise omnipotent and omniscient—he is. VISHNU. The same of SI’vA, when described by one of his own sect; he is the very God of very God: this may be extended even to inferior gods and goddesses. A poet, meaning to describe their energy, calls them omnipotent; their wisdom, they are omniscient; their activity, they are omnipresent: hence arises a confusion that embarrasses the inquirer at every step; “gods meet with gods, and jostle in the dark ;“ and being ultimately resolvable into one, as. that one is approached, the clashing seems more and more frequent.
Mr. COLEBROOKS, in a paper that I shall frequently have occasioti to benefit by, has the following paragraph, applicable to, this topic.
"The deities invoked appear, on a cursory inspection of the Veda, to be as various a th. authors of the prayera addressed to them; but, according to the, most ancient annotations on the Indian scripture, those numerous names of persons and things are all resolvable into different titles of three deities, and ultimately of one God. The Nighanti, or glossary of the Vedas, concludes with three lists of names of deities: the first comprising such as are deemed synonimous with fire; the second, with air; and the third, with the sun. In the last part of the Niructa, which entirely relates to deities, it is twice asserted, that there are but three gods—’ Ti.sra eva devatah.’ The further inference, that these intend but one deity, is supported by many passages in. the Veda; * and. is very clearly and concisely stated in the beginning of the index to the Rig Veda, on. the authority of the Niructa, and of the Veda it8elf.
"The deities are only three, whose places are the earth, the. intermediate region, and heaven; (namely,) fire, air, and the sun. They are pronounced to be (the deities ) of the mysterious nams t severally; and (PRA3APATI) the
- The books of Indian scripture, called the Pks, will be hereafter noticed.
The words between brackets, in this, and in future quotations, are not in the oaginal text of the Yeda, or other quoted work, but are the gloss of the cousmentator; concisely interpolated to elucidate the text, otherwise often obscure.
B/ur, Bhava, and Swar; called the J5ahraiis. See Institutes of MENU,. c. 2. v. ?6. Mysterioua words and symbols wilt come more particularly under our notice hereafter.. I . a a a